by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: March 16, 2016


A west Phoenix teenager was sentenced to five years in prison last Tuesday after accidentally shooting and killing a friend in August.

Marcus Kennedy had previously pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in February.

Kennedy told police he had pulled a handgun from his bag while visiting a friend’s house. When he dropped it on the floor, the gun fired, fatally wounding 18-year-old David Christian.

Police said Kennedy, 19, was “recklessly manipulating a handgun when the weapon discharged.”

Christian was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Much emotional turmoil ensued during the trial as several friends and relatives spoke on behalf of the deceased and the accused.

Both sisters of the parties spoke on behalf of their older brothers and a tearful testimony was heard for the loss of role models in their lives.

Marcus Kennedy prepared a letter, but felt he couldn’t read it aloud. His attorney read, “This will never be fair. Even if I paid with my life, this will never be fair. I will never be myself again, and I replay the scenario every day in my head.”

Kennedy told police he had “entered the house from the backyard when he pulled out his cocked .45-caliber pistol and dropped it, according to court documents. Kennedy tried to catch the gun before it hit the kitchen floor, and the gun fired as he fumbled with it.”

Before announcing her decision on a sentence, the judge said, “I realize that you never intended to kill your best friend. I know that if you could, you would trade places with him. The punishment must equal the crime, but the punishment can never equal the loss.”


Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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